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Original post made
on Jan 30, 2014
Terra Bella site would make a nice mixed use area with housing, offices and retail. A bike/pedestrian walkway right to North Bayshore and planned Century Theater site.
Creekside Apartments should be a mixed housing site. Apartments, town homes with small rental space.
2268-2280 El Camino Real, - Once again 5 members of the city Council vote to replace single family homes and retail with high density apartments.
Mou8ntain View will be 100% high density apartments unless and until we elect sane growth council members.
@Konrad M Sosnow
Mountain View will be 100% high density because growth won't be focused in appropriate areas due to the objections of folks such as yourself who still have your head in the sand thinking Mountain View is some kind of sleepy suburb.
The Mountain View City Council is one of the worst in the Bay Area. They are so in the pocket of google and won't do anything unless their buddy's at Google say it is OK.
It's newbies like you that making it worse for the people that are already here. Maybe you want to live with no water and traffic more of a nightmare than it already is.
It's people like you that don't understand what Konrad said in previous post, you can't put 5 gallons into a 1 gallon container. I guess that is too much of a concept for some people to understand.
Again, Mtn. View OKs more density at the greater Rengstorff / San Antonio area while letting other parts of town stay lower density. I support mixed use affordable housing but the city has done nothing to add to the necessary amenities of our part of town. Heck, we don't even get a neighborhood designation and we are where these 3 houses and the shopping center are. For over 20 years the city has stuck 'density on us' with no park improvements (OK Klein Park with no bathroom so people urinate and deficate along a cinder block fence separating some town homes.
the word Mtn. View is equity to all parts of the community.
Just makes me depressed. But endorsements of candidates comes up this summer and I for one will remember.
You can rebuild Creekside Apartment but it has to be the same density because whenever you increase density there will be more people parking their cars on the street. Just look at Madera that's why their garage is not full even with full occupancy. Now with the Caltrain riders there just isn't enough parking on the streets for everyone and there won't be more in the future!
@Konrad M Sosnow -- "2268-2280 El Camino Real, - Once again 5 members of the city Council vote to replace single family homes and retail with high density apartments... Mou8ntain View will be 100% high density apartments unless and until we elect sane growth council members."
Konrad, your claim above is a complete exaggeration. Pretty much all of the new apartment developments approved in the past few years have been replacing vacant or under-utilized retail spaces. Some have incorporated new retail, some have not. Pretty close to none of them have replaced any single-family homes. (If you disagree, name some examples, with specific addresses or web links - if it's such a trend, this shouldn't be hard for you.)
The truth is, when the Council adopted the new General Plan a few years ago -- based on 3+ YEARS of input from the community -- it outlined a very limited set of "Change Areas" where more intense land use could be allowed, and drew a line around the entire rest of the city and didn't change it. If you don't believe me, read the Change Areas section of the General Plan and check out the map (Figure 3.8) here: Web Link
Claiming that the Council is approving high-density apartments all over the city, breaking up single-family neighborhoods, is a scare tactic and intellectually dishonest. Most objective observers will see right through it.
The development at Calderon and Dana displaced two single family homes and a mid-sized apartment complex iirc.
The co-op housing project a few doors down displaced one single family and defunct orchard. The home is actually still there, but will only be used as a guest house of sorts.
Two examples. Konrad is not completely off-base.
Here we have is a 1980 era strip mall around apartments built from the 60's to present day. We could build here or build on farm producing land. We have a sea of old run down out dated strip malls, shopping center and run down apartment buildings.
Or we can create more sleepy suburbs on open land. We have Leigh Cement.
When I lived in the Tuba City/Marysville area, sat in some planning meetings about future growth. South Sutter County, Yuba Highlands, East Linda, Olivehurst, Plumas Lake, Arboga and Feather River Planning area. Thousands, I mean thousands of homes planned for bay area commuters.
Tuba Highland was a 75,000 resident community that was rightly stopped, reason I mention all of this. The developers are dreaming of putting little suburban communities on prime farmland. Homes will be built, apartments will follow, strip malls, large shopping centers. Traffic, miles of streets with 1 to story buildings spread outover hundreds of acres. Poor transit options, years before any large scale transportation infrastructure and hot
You make good points.
How about replacing the strip mall with a mixed use building - retail on the 1st floor and apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floor, with adequate underground parking for the residents?
We need small business retail in Mountain View for the convenience of residents, to provide jobs (not everyone wants to work at Google), and to collect taxes to pay for our city government.
I agree we need more housing along El Camino. Why can't we have more housing with adequate parking but not massive buildings with inadequate parking?
I hear and read a lot of complaints about what city council approves and disapproves of. In other words , they don't listen to the people of mountain view. Lots of talk and complaints. Learn from the city of Pacifica . Have a recall until they listen! Otherwise ...
I agree on adding more business space, in fact getting away from car centered development would start. Not all of El Camino Real should become 4 story blocks of buildings. Still room for small 2 to 3 story buildings, why not small open plaza, alleys. I say the future of El Camino Real is shop keeper units, shop on first floor, shop owner space 2nd floor. Yes live above the shop.
Right on! Tall buildings re appropriate fo the San Antonio - El Camino intersection but inappropriate for other areas, for instance Escuela and El Camino.
I don't see all of El Camino Real becoming tall buildings, 4 stories is not that tall. Most of El Camino Real won't support large 4 story buildings, instead 2 to 3 stories buildings would be built. Not all of El Camino should be built for housing.
John Inks has stated that he would like to see all buildings along ECR to be 5 stories.
Mike Kazpersak would like them to be 8 stories.
Chris Clark is also for more construction.
If, in the next election, we elect one more "What is Good for the Developers is Good for Mountain View" Council member, then 4 stories will be the lowest building built along ECR. The majority of City council members have given the developers the green light to turn ECR into Silicon Apartment Canyon.
Developers look at the $5,500 rents for a two bedroom apartment at Madera, salivate, and quickly propose another apartment development along ECR
Right now there are about 1,800 new apartments being built along ECR.
What effect on traffic will an additional 1,800 cars have on ECR?
What effect on our schools will be the additional children that will live in the additional 1,800 apartments?
The majority of the current City Council either does not understand or does not care about these issues. We need the right people on the Council to guide the city to a livable, sustainable future.
I don't see El Camino Real becoming a row of 5 stories buildings, yes it sounds good but that is about. El Camino Real has lots of properties, different sizes, different uses and places I really don't see become any kind of housing.
You can't build a large 4 story building on a really small lot next to single family homes. The properties between Castro St down to 237, small lots.
Shopping Centers, fairly large ones that still draw in tenants and customers. We still need a place to buy gas, food, furniture. We do space for restaurants, coffee shops and fast food.
Offices/Hotels are needed for El Camino Real, should still remain a business area, not become residential.
As for buildings over 5 stories along El Camino, only a few places can support such a project.
A lot of us agree that we don't see El Camino Real becoming a row of 5 stories buildings.
However, You and I, and thousands of other Mountain View Residents have no say in the process.
Four votes on the City Council are enough. Inks, Kazpersak, and Clark all agree on unrestricted growth to maximize developer profits, To confirm my assertion, just attend a City Council review session on any proposed project.
Remember, the majority of the current City Council either does not understand or does not care about these issues. We need the right people on the Council to guide the city to a livable, sustainable future.
@Konrad M. Sosnow --
You certainly have a lot of time on your hands, judging by how many of your repetitive posts appear on this message board (and elsewhere on the MV Voice site).
With all that time to think about developments, how are you doing in coming up with more examples of high-density apartment projects replacing single-family homes in town? (per my challenge on Jan. 30th) Or shall we just call a spade a spade and say that your posts are exaggerated and misleading?
And if you have no problem exaggerating and misleading people in your posts here, why should anyone trust your judgment on who should or shouldn't represent us on our City Council?
If you look right below your Jan 30 post, Greg proved you wrong. So what more do you want?
Responding to the post directly above.
Nice try, but Greg David's post of Jan. 30th did no such thing. Konrad made the claim that the Council was repeatedly approving projects that replaced single-family homes with HIGH-DENSITY APARTMENTS. The recent development at Dana & Calderon is single-family detached row homes. The co-housing development nearby is essentially a condominium development. Both are for-sale developments, not apartments (which Konrad seems to particularly have it in for).
What I want is to see some factual accuracy and accountability in people's posts on development, especially when they are using it as the basis to call for voting out Council members and electing new ones. Konrad still needs to back up his claims, or else they will (rightly) be deemed exaggerated and misleading.
"still have your head in the sand thinking Mountain View is some kind of sleepy suburb"
So why not? Shouldn't the current residents of Mountain View decide what Mountain View should be?
@OMV Resident. Here are 4 examples of what Konrad was talking about:
If I am not mistaken, the new low income housing units on Franklin also replaced one or more single family homes, but I haven't found anything on that yet. I'm working on other articles right now so I haven't had time to do more extensive research but I'm sure I could find many more examples. I know one of these is a new office space, but it is much higher density than the houses that used to be there.
Old Mountain View
@Jim Neal -
Again, like Greg David, FAIL.
TWO, not one, of the examples you mentioned are office buildings. One is a 7-unit condominium building. The fourth article is not accessible at the link you provided, but the web link on the MV Voice site is called 'trees-axed-for-16-million-condos' which is clearly condominiums.
And regarding the affordable housing development at Franklin & Evelyn, it was a city-owned parking lot that served as temporary overflow Caltrain parking before it was developed. Web Link
As I noted just above, Konrad's original claim was that our Council is repeatedly approving projects that replace single-family homes with HIGH-DENSITY APARTMENTS. Konrad has provided NO examples to back up his claim, which is why I'll continue to point out that it is exaggerated and misleading. Now both you and Greg have attempted to cover for Konrad, and have both failed.
Additionally, I'll point out that you've taken the same loose approach with facts that Konrad did. And apparently you're too busy to notice details like 2 of your own examples being office projects, not one. And you're running for City Council? I would expect a lot better.
@OMV Resident-- I am very busy considering that I work a full time job, am on call 2 of every 6 weeks, commute 5 hours a day, attend City Council and EPC meetings as well as events like today's forum. While they may not all be high density apartments, they are higher density buildings that do have an effect on the neighborhood and at least I did spend some time additional time to do the research.
If these are the type of buildings that you prefer, then you are certainly welcome to your opinion. Unfortunately, given my extremely busy schedule, I do not have the time to search the extensive records of every single building project in the history of Mountain View, so I did a search based on articles published in the voice and those are the ones I found. The fact is there are a number of examples of single family homes being replaced in the city and I think that squabbling over the type of high density project is irrelevant.
You are certainly free to vote for whomever you wish. I may not be a perfect candidate, but as far as the amount of effort I am putting in to learn about and address the many issues facing the city, I will put my record up against anyone's.
Yes some single family homes were lost to development of housing, retail and industrial projects.
What is so special about a single family home?
El Camino had private homes, Bailey Ave had single family homes, even my favorite homes were torn down for freeway lanes.
If one single family unit was saved, where would the other 6 units be built. The small of single family homes are going to be planned out, replaced with more housing. The owner of the property decided on rental.
Owner of Bryant St condos decided to sell.
Should we build on brownfield or greenfield sites.
@Garrett83 - Single family homes mean less density. less crowding, less traffic, more room for families, and stronger neighborhoods.
Old Mountain View
I am not saying all or even most single family homes be replaced, not everyone wants to own one.
It seems when they design, build cities you find mostly apartments, single family homes or condos that look and feel like apartments.
Do keep the odd single family home or 2 in places surrounded by non single family homes?
If we keep those homes, what neighboring properties next door? Do they redevelop into newer uses of change to single family homes?
@Garrett83 - Good questions! I suppose the answer is "it depends". I know that in't a very good answer, but there are not one size fits all solutions. I would say this as a general rule, the homeowners should decide if they want to sell their homes to be redeveloped, but I would not want to see the sale made as a result of pressure or suggestions to the developer to assemble a parcel. I also would prefer not to see single family homes demolished if the area is predominantly SFH and not mixed use.
Old Mountain View
I agree that nobody should be pressured, forced to sell. Just because something is zoned doesn't mean it has to be changed right away. Foreclosure created the need for rentals. More and more people are willing to seek a alternative to the car. 5, 7 or 10 years from now these people renting apartments might be looking for.ownership housing. Maybe not single family homes but some kind of ownership housing.
Maybe some of the 50 or 60 year old apartments can be mixed use ownership housing.
The developers have the final say concerning higher density anyway. City staff accommodates and the majority of council approves.
City makes plans, changes zoning, developers might own or buy property, might be able to change the zoning. We have created so many planning rules, we have public meetings, study sessions, more public hearings, EIR's, and etc.
A good planning department will move a project along, work out all the kinks, make sure that everyone is involved. I can sit here, check out the MV website, find meeting, projects, notices, studies about certain areas, zoning, and maps
Sometime we got something out of the 1950's, in the modern day. I don't know why everyone is quick to pick on developers, yes the city has right to refuse what ever project comes along. It takes time for this project to move through planning, they aren't just throwing projects out.
A good planning department will work with the developers to get approved. The reason why Texas is getting our jobs, they come, they plan, they approve, jobs are created, housing comes, people are happy.
Here in California, things take years, people want big and better but at the same time small. We want our views, we want no traffic but we like a jobs, our good schools, our shopping. We like our choice of Dog Food.
The developers have the final say. All those "study sessions" are a waste of time. City staff work for Prometheus grey star and Merlon-greed.
You don't understand why everyone is quick to pick on developers?
Your comments are so naive, take a look at "Carmel Village", a strip mall with parking and cheap apartments.Y
Eichler who built lots of homes in the area, built what was cheap homes, can't understand why someone would pay 2 million dollars panel walls.
Drive down El Camino Real you will find crummy little strip malls full of liquor stores, check cashing stores, nail salons or dry cleaning stores. some of them can't even support a large supermarket let alone a medium supermarket.
We have loads of single story tilt up warehouses/R&D office space built in the 70's and 80's, great when the computer industry was pretty small. What I mean by this is when most people didn't have the means, the knowledge or the desire to own a computer.
Today people have computers in their pockets, mobile devices with the latest apps, TV, movies, internet, and social networking. People expect the latest, the fastest and they are spending money. Money that is creating the market for developers to build new offices, housing, retail space, and the other little things that people want.
Build a home from scratch can be a nightmare let alone remodel a bathroom. Why should companies be burden with building new space when they can just hire a developer.
And your point is? Other than more rambling on every topic and message board?
I agree that the developers have the final say. All those "study sessions" are a waste of time.
However, I believe it is that the majority of the City Council rubber stamps whatever Prometheus, Greystar and Merlon-greed want.
I, my wife, and our neighbors love our Eichlers. Obviously other people love them to as they sell in a few days and always at top dollar. A few years ago we successfully got a one-story overlay change to our zoning.
We have worked hard to pay for our home.
Therefore we don't like the fact that City Council members want to lower the quality of life in Mountain View to the point where home owners do not want to remain in Mountain View and then sell out to developers. Kazpersak's and Ink's plan is to convert Mountain View to a high density, high rise apartment community with little or no single family, owner occupied homes.
I love Eichles, but I remember people saying they were cheaply built homes that were poorly designed. Yet thousands of them were built, starter homes mostly.
I am for keeping single family homes but guess what? We don't have lots of open space to build lots of large single family homes.
I don't think El Camino Real is a place for single family homes, not saying it all has to apartments. Right now the rental market is strong, young people taking jobs, wanting to live close to work.
El Camino Real in the middle of the night is quiet, not much open expect the odd 24 hour store or the fast food place.
Larger lots are fine for 3 or higher, smaller lots 1 to 3, depends on design standards and again lot size.
I don't think you can just go out and get rid of.single.family.homes, still needed, still desired by lots of people.
@Konrad M. Sosnow --
"Kazpersak's and Ink's plan is to convert Mountain View to a high density, high rise apartment community with little or no single family, owner occupied homes."
There you go, exaggerating and distorting the truth again. You really have no qualms about it, do you?
As I pointed out all the way back on Jan 30th, in response to one of your exaggerated and misleading claims, the city's General Plan identified a very limited set of Change Areas where more intense development could occur, specifically OMITTING single-family neighborhoods. There have been NO proposals to replace single-family homes inside single-family neighborhoods with high-density apartments under this Council, or even in recent memory. That's why you, or Greg David, or Jim Neal haven't been able to provide any examples.
Other readers - Since Konrad won't admit to his distortions and misleading claims, and in fact keeps repeating them, we'll leave it to you to judge. Check out the Change Areas map I cited above, and think back to any of the recent developments you've seen approved or proposed, and you'll find that NO ONE is proposing to convert intact, single-family neighborhoods into anything else.
Of course there is plenty of room for high density, in your face appartments in Atherton, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills etc.
Tear down one of those "run down" 50 year old mansions and put up the 250 or so apartments and charge $3000 a month.
But we know why that won't happen. the city councils of those towns are real city councils, representing the citizens; not the developer council that we have in Mountain View.
They have developers but with 1 or 2 homes built at a time, or larger lots being snapped up for open space. Try building regular single family homes, normal 1/8 of acre housing.
I am for all cities building housing, even if Los Altos Hill decides to building high end town homes near their Town Hall. Large manisons looking buildings housing.condos, seen it. Los Altos, Atherton and likes have had this type of.zoning for over 60 years.
In the entire South Bay there are only a very very tiny handful of places that are currently suitable for people to live a comfortable carless lifestyle. To do that you need to 1)Be within a very short walk of key businesses like a grocery store, a pharmacy, a few restaurants. 2)You need to be a very short walk away from high frequency transit so that the door-to-door trip to larger shopping areas is well under half an hour. 3)You need to be a moderate walk away from high-speed commuter transit that allows for simple commutes to major office parks and businesses.
Realistically, in the entire South Bay, there are only **three** streets that have high frequency transit. Three. 1st street in San Jose along the light rail line (notice this is the corridor that has been targeted for high density development), San Carlos/Stevens Creek serviced by the 23/323(barely qualifies as high frequency, but it does at least have both a local and a limited line), and El Camino Real/Alameda, serviced by the 22/522 (now with even better weekend/evening service).
Those three streets only have access to high-speed commuter transit in a very few places. Only the end of San Carlos near downtown and the train station is really good for carless commuting (this is also an area where San Jose is encouraging high density). The 1st street corridor is meh for high speed, but at least the light rail is relatively zippy going to the tech campuses, and there are a lot of company shuttles (so again, high density in this area makes sense).
And then there are the very small neighborhoods surrounding those train stations that are also close to El Camino. Not all of El Camino, by any means. Not even all the busy intersections of El Camino. Rengstorff, for example, makes sense as high density for shopping/offices, but to me is a little too far from a train station to be a great place for carless living. So in Mountain View, ideal places for high density housing are only a wide band along Castro to a little ways past El Camino, and in a band along El Camino East a handful of blocks, and West to Shoreline. Then a really broad band right around Showers/San Antonio, spilling out along the side streets there. That's it.
Every city has only one or two of these prime high density areas. It's not like it makes any real sense to build super high density in some random part of Los Altos. Unless it's the part of Los Altos within a five minute walk of El Camino and San Antonio, those people are all going to be forced to have at least one car in their household because there isn't enough transit service anywhere else to reliably support it. This is why building in North Bayshore makes no sense. Sure people could walk to Google, but there would never be enough stores and other businesses to eliminate the need to leave the area, not without paving over the whole darn wetlands.
The entirety of El Camino in Mountain view doesn't need to be 4-8 stories. I think a minimum of two-three stories for any replacement building is a great idea (higher on the south-side, because are we seriously worried about casting a shadow on the street?), and all the major intersections serviced by rapid transit should go higher, just to help ensure the efficiency of transit by clustering lots of stores and jobs in one place. But those few areas where carless living is possible are an immense, environmentally important, resource, and they NEED to be developed to their full potential to house that percentage of the population that have the interest and ability to go carless. There's no other way to help keep those extra cars off the road.
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